Mania

There may be times individuals experience bursts of energy and during this time they may have little to no sleep and still feel energized, speak at a faster pace than usual, or participate in high risk behaviors/goal directed behaviors. These symptoms can be found in someone diagnosed with mania. When one experiences these symptoms, they may experience a feeling of euphoria that gradually declines. Mania is usually associated with some form of mood disorder such as bipolar disorder and is not by itself a diagnosis. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Volume 5 (DSM-V), mania is characterized by a period of at least 1 week where an elevated, expansive or unusually irritable mood is present. A person experiencing a manic episode also is usually engaged in significant goal-directed activity beyond their normal activities.  This behavior is usually observable by others. When someone is experiencing a manic episode, it usually causes some level of impairment.  As mentioned previously, once a manic individual’s euphoric state starts to decline, they may end up in a state of depression. As individuals are switching from one state to another, they may cause great harm to themselves or others.

If you know anyone who has experienced this behavior, encourage them to seek professional help. With offices in Manhattan and New Jersey (Paramus and Englewood), Arista Counseling offers treatment for bipolar disorder, depression, personality disorders, and much more. Evaluations are also performed on site. Please feel free to contact us at or Manhattan location at (212) 996-3939 or at our New Jersey location at (201) 368-3700.

Written by: L Matthew

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Hoarding Disorder: It’s More Than Just Throwing Things Away

By: Emily Mulhaul

“You’re a mess!” “Just throw it away!” “How do you live like this?” These are some of the phrases individuals diagnosed with Hoarding Disorder receive one too many times. Meanwhile, their indecision to throw things away is more internal than most can understand. As proposed in the DSM-5, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIHM) characterizes Hoarding Disorder as an avoidance of decision making about possessions. Although the mess created by the perceived hoarder is tangible and visible, it can be understood that the avoidant behavior may result from the emotional attachment linked to these items. During an interview with an individual recovering from hoarding disorder she made a comment stating, “If I throw away these items, it’s as if I’m throwing away my memories, my childhood, and my mother.” She metaphorically relates throwing things away to ridding herself of her most cherished moments. This commonly occurs in individuals who have suffered the trauma of losing a family member. When the collection of items becomes excessive or interruptive to the progression of one’s life it may be possible this individual has developed a hoarding disorder. The grieving process is different for everyone and in the case of a hoarding disorder it is far more complex than merely throwing things away. Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors understand the depth of an emotional attachment and are compassionate towards helping those suffering or at risk of hoarding disorder.

If you or a loved one have a hoarding disorder the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, social workers, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling are here to help. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.

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Source: National Institute of Mental Health

 

Anxiety About College: Is It Normal?

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By: Elizabeth Dolin

The anticipation of living in an entirely new environment with new people can be stressful, exciting and anxiety provoking. It is normal to be excited about the adventures and opportunities that lie ahead, but also scared to leave the comfort of one’s home and community behind. Acclimating to college life inevitably takes time; however, there are ways to better prepare oneself and ultimately decrease the anxiety commonly experienced amongst freshman college students.

    1. Use orientation to your advantage. Orientation activities are designed to help you make friends! Socialize, and get people’s numbers. It will be reassuring when school starts and you already have friends you can call.
    2. Familiarize yourself with the campus. Visit your school a couple of times throughout the summer and explore! Knowing where your classes will be and how to get around campus will greatly decrease the levels of anxiety experienced on the first day of school.
    3. Research the classes offered. Having a large and challenging workload is incredibly difficult the first semester of college. Research the classes and professors, and choose classes that interest you and have good reputations.
    4. Research a variety of clubs offered on campus and find what interests you. Joining different clubs is a great way to meet people the first few months of school.
    5. Contact your roommates. Whether you find a roommate on Facebook or are randomly assigned one, message him/her and get to know him/her! You will feel much more comfortable living in a new environment if you know the person you will be living with. (p.s.: Due to personal experiences, I strongly recommend finding someone on Facebook because it can be very risky to do random assignment).

Hopefully these tips will help ease your transition from High School to College. Your college years will undoubtedly be some of the greatest years of your life, but don’t be scared if it takes some time getting used to!

If you are anxious about your transition into college, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, social workers, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling are here to help. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.

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Family Conflict and Summer: The Best Time To Work Out Issues

By: Adrienne Sangalang

Certain families may be better at dealing with or even hiding issues than other families. Regardless, there is no such thing as a perfect family. For adolescents, the summer is always known as the time of the year when they are spending more time with friends than family. However, this lack of time with the family can make a present disconnect even wider between parents and their adolescent.

630by357If parents and adolescents find themselves struggling to understand each others’ issues, they should use the summer to repair the damage before their busy schedules start up again in September. Vacations are exciting, but do not necessarily guarantee amends. Issues may actually worsen during family vacations, if not dealt with prior to leaving.

Instead of your adolescents always being outside of the house, recommend family activities such as a game night, outdoor BBQ or evening bonfire. These activities can help foster a healthy relationship. Adolescents will feel more inclined to tell you stories about their friends or ask you questions about your life if you take the time to foster a positive relationship. Share stories about your adolescence with your children to remind them that you were once a teenager. Keep in mind that your children may have your genes, but are not carbon copies of you and your partner. In other words, be open to their ideas and they’ll be open to yours.

If you are a parent in need of family therapy, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, social workers, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling are here to help. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.

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Anxiety: College Students in Bergen County, NJ

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By: Adrienne Sangalang

High schools seniors have conquered their SATs and college applications; however, they continue to face hurdles throughout life, especially during their first year at college. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 2 students on college campuses have been so anxious that they struggled in school. These anxious moments may be more than just college jitters. They may be symptoms of an anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder or social anxiety disorder. Fortunately, a majority of colleges have on-campus mental health services with psychiatrists, psychologists and clinical social workers.

The Counseling, Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program and Psychiatric Services organization at Rutgers University promotes community-based mental health prevention, provides clinical care and supports the aftermath of critical incidents. The difficulty of applying to colleges is such a small amount when compared to balancing a social life, sleeping eight hours a night and getting good grades. College students refer to these three items on a triangle diagram in which they can only “choose” two of the three.

Though friends can act as a useful shoulder to lean on for stressful exams and bad professors, they don’t provide you with the necessary treatment. One advantage of mental health clinicians is that they can determine whether or not you need extra time for assignments and exams. This can be a crucial step in helping you achieve the grade you deserve! For high school seniors who are ready to embark on your college adventure, don’t be afraid to walk-in to your campus mental health clinic when you feel anxious about your new environment.

If you are a high school senior feeling anxious about your transition into college or a current college student overwhelmed by the stressors of college, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, social workers, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling are here to help. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.

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The Positive Effects of Exercise

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By: Elizabeth Dolin

When asked why someone exercises, the common answer is “for his or her physical health”. However, research has proven that regular exercise for long periods of time can have lasting positive effects on one’s mental health as well. Exercise is believed to increase the amount of endorphins in the brain. The endorphins have the same effect as morphine, and help the individual perceive pain, in order and decrease the amount of pain felt by the individual. Research has also shown that exercise increases different neurotransmitters in the brain that also increased by antidepressant medications. Therefore, exercise can help alleviate stress and other symptoms that occur in different mental disorders like depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

Below are some other reasons why I encourage you to go out and exercise:

  • It makes you feel good.
  • It helps you sleep better at night.
  • It decreases your stress levels.
  • It increases your self esteem.
  • It increases your energy.
  • It improves your mood.
  • It reduces tiredness.

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